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18 March 2009, 08:17

Red Hat patent defence rebutted

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In a blog posting, Kirk Wylie, who brought up the issues surrounding Red Hat's patent application for XML routing over AMQP has responded to Red Hat's statement. He rejects the suggestion that complaints have been an attempt to create FUD around the issue saying "FUD doesn't apply here, as those of us with legitimate concerns are hardly going to be spreading FUD about the thing (AMQP) that we are really pushing for."

Wylie points out that the AMQP Agreement specifically grants a patent licence for all patents necessary for the implementation of AMQP, and that Red Hat's patent application is for an obvious extension of AMQP, not for AMQP itself. He also notes that Red Hat's Patent Promise only makes a promise over open source/free software and does not apply to commercial vendors who are expected to license the same patents. As the AMQP group is made up of both open source and commercial developers, Wylie believes this means the Patent Promise is irrelevant to the commercial partners of the AMQP specification.

He believes the only way around the issue at the moment would be to be to add XML routing, specifically XQuery based exchanges, into the specification, making it a necessary part and covered by the AMQP agreement. That would go against the goals of the specification which was trying to create a smaller, more interoperable, messaging standard. According to Wylie, the AMQP Working Group is "already working within themselves to try and resolve this situation" and he wishes them "all the best luck in that".


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